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CA Missing Water
Old 04-12-2015, 07:38 PM   #1
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CA Missing Water

Can't help but recall the movie Chinatown and all of the missing water that Jack Nicholson (Mr. Gettes?) was looking for.

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As California struggles with a devastating drought, huge amounts of water are mysteriously vanishing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta — and the prime suspects are farmers whose families have tilled fertile soil there for generations.
A state investigation was launched following complaints from two large agencies that supply water to arid farmland in the Central Valley and to millions of residents as far south as San Diego.
My Way News - California delta's water mysteriously missing amid drought
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:51 PM   #2
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I was kayaking yesterday along the South Fork of the Consumnes River out of Lodi, CA. In a 6 mile paddle, I saw a dozen or more PVC pipes poking out from below the water line and leading to?? Now, a few MIGHT be legit, but my bet is that several people/ranchers/farmers are tapping into the river without authorization. For one thing; legit pipes had a county water agency sign posted at the tap. The others didn't. They were sort of hidden in concrete rip-rap.

Then there are all pot gardens up in the hills that tap the streams and rivers. Lots of those!
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:07 PM   #3
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I was kayaking yesterday along the South Fork of the Consumnes River out of Lodi, CA. In a 6 mile paddle, I saw a dozen or more PVC pipes poking out from below the water line and leading to?? Now, a few MIGHT be legit, but my bet is that several people/ranchers/farmers are tapping into the river without authorization. For one thing; legit pipes had a county water agency sign posted at the tap. The others didn't. They were sort of hidden in concrete rip-rap.

Then there are all pot gardens up in the hills that tap the streams and rivers. Lots of those!
May be you should report them to water authority
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:09 PM   #4
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What if these water thieves have connection inside the water authority? Better to alert the media.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:18 AM   #5
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Here's one solution.

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/exclusive...672789084.html

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“So I’m starting a Kickstarter campaign. I want $30 billion … to build a pipeline like the Alaska pipeline. Say, from Seattle — a place where there’s a lot of water. There’s too much water. How bad would it be to get a large, 4-foot pipeline, keep it aboveground — because if it leaks, you’re irrigating!”
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:42 AM   #6
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Well, I guess it's too late for the old iceberg-transport solution, and I can guarantee that the 4' pipe proposer should forget about starting in Seattle We ain't the Owens Valley, baby.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:57 AM   #7
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Chuckanut, you know that the rain is way under normal lately. Also, if water is so abundant, why is the cost for unmetered water in B'ham almost $100/mo ($195/2 mo.)at this point? (I understand when all houses are metered this will probably rise.) This shocked us when we moved here five years ago. At that time it rained perpetually. Since then, it has gone up, up and up. (From $140/2 mo. in 2011 to $195/2 mo. this year.)


It only will get worse.
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:15 AM   #8
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Shatner should stick to acting. A similar 48" watermain at Lake Havasu has a capacity of 26 million gallons per day. Based on typical 100 gallons per day per person usage, a 48" pipe would serve 260, 000 people. And that's if an adequate supply exists and if conditions are such that 26 million gallons can be pumped per day.
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:49 AM   #9
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We have a a little inlet on the Rio Grande called "Smuggler's Cove". No they weren't smuggling drugs, or liquor during prohibition. They were stealing water from the Rio Grande!
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:20 PM   #10
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The local PBS station just had a story this morning about various local environmental groups driving around looking for the big water wasters that are in violation of the unenforced mandatory water restrictions. It's smaller scale than the theft described in the OP - but it's still a way to force a crack down on violators.

I've already talked to two neighbors who significantly overwater (and end up watering the sidewalk and street as it runs off.). I wish people would be smart about this stuff.

To make matters more interesting, the same PBS news report mentioned a court case that determined tiered rates are illegal - this would definitely effect San Diego... and the water wasters would get their excess water for less while someone who conserves (like me) would end up paying more. Ugh.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:43 PM   #11
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Haven't done the math, but doubt that a four foot pipeline would service even one small town...
Desalination looks to be a key, but the costs are staggering. Even the worlds largest plant, in Saudi Arabia $7B only produces 1 million cubic meters a day. That's roughly enough to provide water to San Jose for 2 days
1 cu meter = 264 gallons
California Drought: Database shows big difference between water guzzlers and sippers - San Jose Mercury News



Some usage numbers:
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:51 PM   #12
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Years ago I was in an area that had required water usage reductions. The reductions were based upon the previous year's usage. Alas, this rewarded the people who squandered water the previous year, and punished those who were already conserving water. Not so good.
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:11 PM   #13
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If a desalinization plant can produce 264 million gallons of water per day for only 7B, then Shatner's plan of a pipeline for 30B that produces only 26 million gallons per day seems beyond stupid.

You could build 4 of the 7B desalinization plants and have 2B left to print stickers saying desalinization is known to the state of California to cause cancer.
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:51 PM   #14
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Part of the problem with water usage, with a tangent to the solar power thread, is that, for so long, the "real" cost of water (and energy) have been hidden or ignored.

We have a lot of water here on Earth, but we don't have enough "cheap" water to "waste".

Similarly, we have lots of inexpensive energy, as long as you aren't paying for any environmental damage, or for the military force required to "police" volatile energy-producing regions.

Ironically, on a local scale, our lakes have been low, and water restrictions have been in place for quite some time. But our city has a contract to use so many acre-feet, or whatever; but, lower usage brings in less revenue, so the city had to raise rates...

No good deed goes unpunished. Luckily, it's been a wet spring, so the reservoirs are nearly back to "normal" levels.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
The local PBS station just had a story this morning about various local environmental groups driving around looking for the big water wasters that are in violation of the unenforced mandatory water restrictions. It's smaller scale than the theft described in the OP - but it's still a way to force a crack down on violators.

I've already talked to two neighbors who significantly overwater (and end up watering the sidewalk and street as it runs off.). I wish people would be smart about this stuff.

To make matters more interesting, the same PBS news report mentioned a court case that determined tiered rates are illegal - this would definitely effect San Diego... and the water wasters would get their excess water for less while someone who conserves (like me) would end up paying more. Ugh.
Tiered rates is the only effective means of controlling residential consumption IMO. I spent majority of career managing municipal w&s utilities. You can preach and plead for conservation, but until you poke people in the wallet the results are really pretty pathetic. Tier rates (TR) are effective and fair. We had four tiers, the first was enough for indoor use for 3-4; this is in my opinion the highest use of water, drinking, cooking, and sanitation. It also was below what our cost was. Important from a utility standpoint, is is also CONSISTENT. As in the same month to month.

Moving up the higher consumption tiers you are providing water for aesthetic and other discretionary uses. Hence it ought to come at at higher price to protect the supply for the higher uses. Also, outside uses are seasonal and inconsistent. The ability to source large volumes of supply that are available in drought and for variable periods is far higher cost than consistent baseline use. Just when everyone wants to water the brown grass the lakes are down for the same reason. So from an economic standpoint having resilient supply that holds up for high volume seasonal users who want it when it's scarce should come at a higher price. The cost is there for sure.

I have no idea what courts would base TR as being illegal. I also don't care as I gave up worrying about water supply viability just about 4 years ago. FWIW I predicted to colleagues once that in ten years we'd see a major city lose its supply. That was about 7 years ago, so I may be proved wrong. Cities have a bad habit of ignoring statistics when it comes to drought vulnerability. Solving supply insufficiency in a deep drought is not feasible in east coast type supplies (river and reservoir),
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:28 PM   #16
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build a dam. None built in Cali since prior to 1980. 70-80% of rain fall runs off into the ocean. Get a plan Cali. It's not rocket science. Also, 80% of water usage in Cali goes to agriculture. Do we have to grow everything in Cali? I believe there are 49 other states out there (most with no drought problem) where we can grow crops.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:40 PM   #17
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"I have no idea what courts would base TR as being illegal."

One of the fruits of Cal's direct democracy, prop. 218, which says any price tier has to reflect it's cost of service. The court admitted that it could not rule for the best policy, but it's job was to determine if the policy violated prop.218.
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:11 PM   #18
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Another problem is that any plan that does not involve desalination will be met with a lot of opposition, because any pipeline, canal, etc delivering water to the affected areas will be taking water away from someone else.
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:02 PM   #19
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When the population of a state doubles, and in that time the politicians make NO attempt to increase storage in over 30 years, maybe THAT is the problem!!!
Save the smelt!
Screw the farmers!
Generate all my power(and pollution) out of state!
And please park my Lamborghini while your at it!

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Old 04-21-2015, 07:37 PM   #20
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This was supposed to fix everything for southern ca

Diamond Valley Lake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Max. capacity 260 billion gallons

One small problem, depending on water from the Colorado river that we could have only when surplus is available.. Then came more development in AZ, NV and Mexico , who do have the right to the water.
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